Allurent, Inc. has released its â€œHoliday Shopping: Online Customer Experience Survey.â€ Their main finding is:
The survey revealed that a growing number of consumers (41% in 2006 compared to 28% in 2005) said a frustrating online experience would make them less likely to shop at that retailer’s physical store. And 59% reported that when they have a frustrating shopping experience online, it negatively impacts their overall opinion of the retailer/brand. In 2005, this number was 55%. The percentage of consumers who said a frustrating shopping experience online makes them less likely to shop at the retailer’s physical store remained at an overwhelming 82%, the same as 2005. [sic]
Based on last year’s study, I believe the last sentence should read, “The percentage of consumers who said a frustrating shopping experience online makes them less likely to return to the retailer’s website remained at an overwhelming 82%, the same as 2005.”
While these are nice numbers to have, theyâ€™re not very helpful to most Internet marketers and etailers. Despite what customers may believe, etailers arenâ€™t trying to give them poor user experiences, online or off (*cough* Wal-Mart, your video download pageâ€™s CSS is still broken in Firefox! Itâ€™s been a whole day!).
Luckily, Allurent adds some more specific advice on improving customer experiencesâ€”complete with data to back it up. Here are the top features that piqued respondentsâ€™ interest:
- 74% would like a popup window for product details, including info on inventory availability.
- 70% would like to add an item to their carts without leaving the current page
- 68% would like to â€œfeelâ€ merchandise with better imagery, descriptions and details. (Smell-o-vision, anyone?)
- 64% would like a single checkout page to enter all info.
- 47% would like to â€œmix and matchâ€ product images together on one page to see if they go together.
Allurent ends with a stat that makes it sounds like the overall online shopping experience isnâ€™t going so badly after all: 53% bought more holiday gifts online in 2005 than 2006, and 66% percent plan to shop online more for 2007. Etailers, start your engines (and work on your shopping carts) for this yearâ€™s holiday season.